I listen to music while I work. I couldn't exactly tell you why (well, that's n ot true, I just don't feel like puzzling that question out at the moment,) but it's a really important part of my creative process.
When I worked on the first few drafts of Just A Geek, I listened to Boingo's Dark at the End of the Tunnel, and when I did the final draft, I listened to Rattle and Hum, The Wall, and Dark Side of the Moon. (Strangely, I did not listen to Dancing Barefoot when I worked on Dancing Barefoot, but I heard it in my head frequently.) I'm sure there's some really great symbolism there for someone who wants to dig it up; for me it was just music that was at the right wavelength, if you will, when I was writing.
These days, I rarely listen to a specific album or artist (though today, just to prove me wrong, I needed to hear The Pixies) but instead listen to Soma.fm, XM's Pops classical station, or I just let my iTunes library go to town and surprise me.
A few days ago, I came across this cool AppleScript via Lifehacker that tells iTunes to go ahead and do whatever it's doing, but when the BBC releases their hourly news update, it will finish my song, or fade out the stream, and play the latest news from the BBC. It kind of makes it like listening to the radio, and I feel like I'm sort of a smart guy who stays up to date on stuff going on in the world, without having to, you know, click on a website to read stories. It also reminds me to get up and stretch once an hour, which is really important because I plan to run a marathon sometime before 2007 is over.
So if it seems intriguing to you, check it out at Doug's AppleScripts. It was super easy to install and get running, and I had my first news report in less than ten minutes. There's also a version that will get the NPR news updates, if you prefer you news with a little less colour.